Why design matters

How do you design for a more human future among rapid technological advances?

01 August 2023

Design Indaba, another casualty of Covid-19, left a hole in the South African creative community’s social calendar and psyche. While local events like Decorex expanded to fill the gap, creatives looking for intellectual and visual stimulation are still looking for a comparable replacement. To that end, I came across Design Matters, a Denmark-based collective of designers that has been running events for and by designers of all kinds since 2015. The group has organised creative conferences in Copenhagen, Mexico City and Tokyo, all destinations just a bit off the beaten globalist track. The deliberately diverse choice of locations as well as the group’s ability to survive the lockdowns piqued my interest and convinced me to take a closer look.

That’s how I found myself in Tokyo in early June this year, just as the country finally dropped its pandemic restrictions, mere weeks before I arrived. It seemed like an apt time and place to start to look to the future.

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